L. Neil Smith's
Number 295, October 31, 2004

The Nightmare After Halloween

Religion and Politics
by Ron Beatty

Exclusive to TLE

By the time this is published, the elections will be over, and hopefully, we will know who the president will be for the next four years. If the President is John Kerry, religion will have taken a blow to its dreams of political domination, at least for a while. However, if George Bush is reelected, I believe that we will see something that our Founders feared almost as much as they feared democracy.

At least since the 1980s and the rise of the so-called 'Moral Majority', we have seen organized religion making concerted attempts to control our government, and try to force it to conform to the Evangelical Christian ethos. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and many other fundamentalist Christian orators and demagogues have railed continuously about our country's lack of morals and the need for some form of censorship or oversight on the media and entertainment. Also, there has been a strong trend toward getting out the vote on moral issues, in order to sway politicians to lean toward this view in casting votes on these issues.

(For those who are devout and caring Christians, I apologize in advance for what I am about to say)

Many of the Christian sects are more than a little evangelical and fundamentalist, in that they seek to aggressively proselytize their beliefs, pushing them on anyone who can't run fast enough to get away. Even though there are differences in different sects, such as between Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians, many of the more fundamentalist leaning of these various sects can agree on one thing: From their viewpoint, American society is incredibly immoral, in that it doesn't follow their core beliefs. To many who follow this view, they find it easier to agree with other Christian sects, even traditional 'enemies', than to just try to understand and accept that others don't share their beliefs.

I won't say it has gone so far as an organized movement, except in such things as the Moral Majority, or Pat Robertson's 700 club, but more of a general let's work together, we have to do God's work and bring these people back to the Bible type thing.

In my mind, this type of fundamentalism is just as dangerous as the Islamic fundamentalists, who do the exact same thing! While it is not to the point, yet, that we have seen widespread terroristic type acts, I believe that that is coming. There have already been abortion clinic bombings, murders of those who perform abortions, murders, beatings and rapes of those who espouse alternative lifestyles, persecution of non-Christian religions, and I believe it will only get worse.

Should a 'born-again fundamentalist', who has made no secret of the fact that he does what 'God tells him to do' decide that God has told him that all non-Christians, or perhaps all homosexuals and lesbians, or perhaps those who practice abortion, or maybe all Arabic or Islamic people should be purged from society, and be in a position to broadcast that view widely, how many fanatics might decide that there is a new mandate from Heaven to let loose their most heinous fantasies? After, if God tells us to do it, it can't be wrong, can it? And before you say it can't happen here, look back at Waco. Go even further back, to the burning of Nauvoo, the Morman settlement in Illinois. Go even further back to Salem and the witch trials. Go back to why the colony of Rhode Island was founded. It has happened here, and there is no guarantee that it won't again, especially since our government has spent most of the last century systematically shredding the Constitution and Bill of Rights, reducing the protections listed in those documents to so much hot air.

I urge all of you, pagans, Christians, Islamics, try to remember that not all share your own beliefs. Try to remember that none of us knows the entire truth, that none of us knows which, if any, religion is the true one. All we have is belief. Don't condemn others just because they believe differently than you do. Instead, look at their life and actions. Are they kind, caring people? Do they mind their own business, and stay out of yours? Do they follow the Golden Rule, even though they may call it something else? If all of these are true, then why would you try to harm them? What does it matter if they are gay? or Islamic? or pagan? or black, or native american, or whatever the current object of hate is. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It's that simple, people, and for Christians, that is straight from the boss' mouth. Remember that when you go to harm others because they don't believe the same way you do.

Our Founding Fathers wisely did not want a state controlled religion. They forgot to legislate against a religion controlled state, even though as a practical matter, that has been the case for many years, with the 'wall between church and state'. I am very afraid that we may soon see why the Founders didn't want religion and the state joined together, even though many of them were very religious men. They knew that the psychological power of religion joined with the legislative power of the state was a recipe for disaster. I think we may all soon get a chance to observe that for ourselves.

As always, I encourage each and everyone of you to look up the facts, do the research, determine for yourselves that I am telling you the truth, at least as I see it. Again, never, ever take my unsupported word for anything, and still less that of the media or government. No matter what anyone says, it is still you, and you alone who are responsible for your own safety and freedom.


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